Olympics Roundup: U.S. leaps up the medal table on Day 2

Chase Kalisz powers his way to the gold medal in the men's 400m individual medley final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Usp Olympics Swimming July 25 S Oly Jpn
Chase Kalisz powers his way to the gold medal in the men’s 400m individual medley final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Usp Olympics Swimming July 25 S Oly Jpn

Sunday turned into a pool party for Team USA at Tokyo Olympics, with five American swimmers taking home individual medals.

Chase Kalisz won the first gold for the U.S. in the 2020 Games, winning the men’s 400-meter individual medley in a time of 4:09.42, a fraction of a second ahead of teammate Jay Litherland. Kalisz won the silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and became the only swimmer — man or woman — to win both a gold and silver in the event.

They were joined as medal winners by Kieran Smith, who earned the bronze in the men’s 400-meter freestyle; Emma Weyant (silver) and Hali Flickinger (bronze) in the women’s 400-meter IM; and the women’s 4×100 relay team (bronze).

Australia set the world record with a time of 3:29.69 in the women’s 4×100 relay.

In all, the Americans won six medals in the pool and 10 total medals on Sunday. Leading the medals standings after Day 2 of competition: China, 11 (six gold, one bronze, four silver); United States, 10 (four gold, two silver, four bronze); Russian Olympic Committee, seven (one gold, four silver, two bronze); and Japan six (five gold, one silver.)

Italy and Korea are tied with five.

In other Olympics news:

–France’s men’s basketball team defeated the U.S. 83-76 in the first loss for Team USA in Olympic play since 2004. The Americans squandered a seven-point lead with 3:30 left in the first game of group play.

Evan Fournier scored 28 points and Rudy Gobert added 14 points and nine rebounds for Team France. Jrue Holiday had 18 points for the Americans, who shot 37.3 percent.

In other action, Czech Republic defeated Iran 84-78; Italy beat German 92-82; and Australia topped Nigeria 84-67.

–Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain upset No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-3 in first-round play of the women’s tennis tournament. Barty committed 55 unforced errors. Home-country favorite Naomi Osaka, the second seed, defeated Saisai Zheng of China 6-1, 6-4.

On the men’s side, No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece made his Olympics debut with a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany. He’ll meet American Frances Tiafoe, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over South Korea’s Sunwoo Kwon, in the second round.

Also advancing were Germany’s Alexander Zverev, and Kei Nishikori of Japan, who topped fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4.

–Despite having the sport’s most dominant athlete on its side, the USA women’s gymnastics squad settled for second placing in qualifying. The Russian Olympic Committee team finished in first place with a score of 171.629, topping the U.S. total of 170.562.

Before Sunday, the U.S. team had finished first in qualifying and team finals at every world championship or Olympics since 2010. American star Simone Biles still led the all-around, with teammate Sunisa Lee placing second.

–Yuto Horigome of Japan won gold in the Olympics debut of the men’s street skateboarding event, in a skate park just minutes from where he grew up. Kelvin Hoefler of Brazil captured the silver, with American Jagger Eaton winning the bronze. Pre-Olympics favorite Nyjah Huston of the U.S. finished seventh after wiping out on four of his five trick attempts.

“I’ve never felt so much pressure, from like representing your country, too,” Huston, a 26-year-old Californian, said. “So all the people back home, all the homies, everyone in the USA that was rooting for me — I’m sorry. I know I definitely let some people down. And I have no problem admitting that. But I’m human, you know?”

–William Shaner, a 20-year-old from Colorado, won gold in the 10m men’s air rifle, setting an Olympic-record score of 251.6. He led for most of the final round.

–Youth beat experience in the women’s table tennis competition as Luxembourg’s Xia Lian Ni, 58, lost to 17-year-old Yubin Shin of South Korea in the second round of women’s singles.

–Field Level Media